How to contact us for advice

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Our advice service

We provide advice to parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and kinship carers who are involved with children’s services in England or need their help. We can help you understand processes and options when social workers or courts are making decisions about your child’s welfare.

Our advice service is free, independent and confidential.

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By phone or email

To speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential advice line 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm, excluding Bank Holidays). For Textphone dial 18001 followed by the advice line number. Or you can ask us a question via email using our advice enquiry form.

Discuss on our forums

Our online advice forums are an anonymous space where parents and kinship carers (also known as family and friends carers) can get legal and practical advice, build a support network and learn from other people’s experiences.

Advice on our website

Our get help and advice section describes the processes that you and your family are likely to go through, so that you know what to expect. Our webchat service can help you find the information and advice on our website which will help you understand the law and your rights.

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Neglect definition

Neglect is defined in government guidance as “persistent failure to meet a child’s basic needs to the extent that it is has a serious effect on the child’s health or development”. This can be either the child’s physical or emotional needs.

Neglect may involve a parent failing to:

  • Provide enough food and clothing
  • Provide a proper home. This can include excluding a child from home or abandoning them.
  • Protect a child from physical or emotional danger
  • Provide proper supervision. This can include leaving a child in the care of someone who cannot provide adequate care.
  • Take a child to the doctor or dentist when they need to go. Or failing to follow medical advice.
  • Respond to a child’s basic emotional needs.
    Ensure their child is given an education.
  • Neglect can occur before a child is born. For example, if a mother misuses drugs during pregnancy.

For more information see our advice pages on:


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